The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Canada announced a $20 million partnership with the federal government designed to speed advances in finding a cure for the disease that affects over three million Canadians.
The two-year partnership will be matched by a contribution of $10 million from JDRF to accelerate diabetes research by implementing a clinical trial network for diabetes research.
The hope is southern Ontario will become an international centre for the development and commercialization of treatments, cures, and medical technologies to improve the lives of people living with diabetes and its complications.
New Hamburg’s Leslie Schnarr was at the University of Waterloo with her son Michael when the announcement was made Monday.
Michael, 14, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2003. He was named JDRF’s 2009 youth ambassador and has been working with politicians in Queen’s Park and Ottawa to increase awareness and funding for the disease.
Leslie Schnarr says diabetes too often gets “swept under the rug” as more prominent, life-threatening illnesses take precedence for government funding.
“They realize the importance of JDRF,” says Schnarr, adding this funding is crucial for them to make headway to find a cure. “This was huge today.”
Michael Schnarr has been able to meet with several key players in Ottawa with the help of Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht, who was at Monday’s announcement.